July 4th is the biggest holiday for Americans: Independence Day. This time, all celebrations will be accompanied with unusual security measures. The FBI sent secret directives to all 18 thousand local law-enforcement bodies of America last Wednesday, warning them that the bureau obtained uncertain information about acts of terrorism, which are planned to take place on July 4th.
However, American special services do not need Bin Laden, as they have another headache: the fifth annual congress of the odious biker organization, the Hell’s Angels, is to open today in the dusty town of Hollister. Drunk bikers will be more frightening than Al-Qaeda.
The angels say that they chose the name in honor of the famous bomber squadron of the World War I, which was based near LA. The personnel of the squadron rode bikes when they had free time. There is another opinion: the name of the organization comes from the movie Hell’s Angels, which was made in 1930.
It just so happened that Hollister citizens gathered together on July 4th of 1947 for the annual celebration. Traditional Independence Day symbols like flags, orchestras, and other symbols were planned as the intro to a more modern part of the holiday: races and storming hills on bikes.
Biking competitions attracted a lot of people to Hollister in 1947. Thousands of bikers came to the town; the crowd was growing and growing, and the city was smothered in empty beer bottles and cans, and the whole event was over with a grand pogrom. People say that the bikers seized the town, challenged the police, and robbed bars and shops.
The Hell’s Angels is one of the organizations of American rockers who ride Harley Davidson bikes. Life changes and moves on, but Harley fans are still the same: big bearded guys who wear leather coats and boots. Could William Harley and Arthur Davidson imagine that their bikes will become a mythical, legendary, eternal brand, that their bikes will unite both scoundrels and snobs?
Harley fan clubs and clans appeared in the USA after World War II was over. Pilots were trying to retrieve the battle spirit of their squadrons, and a bike was the best for this. At first, they arranged races on Harley Davidson bikes and nobody cared about it. But July 4th, 1947 was the day that gathered the biggest crowd ever.
America was shocked. The National Association of Bikers rushed to isolate itself from the Harley fans. It claimed 99% of its members were law-abiding. The "non-decent" people left the association and organized their own club, the Hell’s Angels.
Yegor Belorus PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/07/04/43685.html
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969